Category Archives: Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

The Second Mrs. Gioconda by EL Konigsburg

Why did Leonardo da Vinci paint the portrait of the plain second wife of a a merchant, the Mona Lisa? The Second Mrs. Gioconda follows the story of Salai, Leonardo’s young servant, through his friendship with another plain woman, the Duchess Beatrice, in order to attempt to answer this question. The book is a quick read and quite interesting. I recommend this book to middle grade age kids who are interested in or studying da Vinci.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 36
Pages Read in 2018: 8511
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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison by Lois Lenski

Twelve-year-old Molly Jemison is kidnapped and given to some women of the Seneca Tribe. She goes from frightened to learning about and embracing the Native ways, though always wanting to find her first family again.

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison is based on a true story. The book reads fast and guides the reader through Molly’s emotions as a captive of the Seneca people. I highly recommend reading it to middle grade age kids.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 33
Pages Read in 2018: 7891
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry

Mafatu is terrified of the sea. This disappoints his father, the chief of the Polynesian Island where they live. Mafatu becomes determined to conquer his fear of the sea and sets off in a canoe.

Call It Courage is a pleasant story. It reads fast and teaches a nice lesson on conquering fear. I recommend it to middle grade kids.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 32
Pages Read in 2018: 7567
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White

Louis the Swan is born without a voice. A trumpeter swan with no voice can’t get a mate or survive and so Louis decides to learn to read and write, his father decides to get him a trumpet, and then Louis decides to go to work to earn money.

I really liked The Trumpet of the Swan. It’s a sweet story and often funny. The only problem was I kept mentally screaming at the book, “He is a swan, people!” because characters would acknowledge he was a bird, but not find anything he did to be strange. I had to repeatedly remind myself to suspend my disbelief and that kept pulling me out of the book and decreased my enjoyment of it. I do recommend it to middle grade age kids. It makes a great family read-aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 13
Pages Read in 2018: 2243
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Children, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack

A rich history runs through Africa. Life in Medieval Africa describes the unique lives of those living in medieval Ghana, Mali, and Songhay. The book is easy enough for an upper elementary to middle schooler to understand while still giving lots of details and information. I highly recommend it to kids studying or interested in Africa during the medieval period.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 8
Pages Read in 2018: 1322
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Non-Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

Chased from their home, Pan Andrew and his family have a treasure that must be delivered to the king of Poland.

The Trumpeter of Krakow begins most chapters with historical background information that somehow relates to that part of the story. The story unfolds slowly, with the mystery of the treasure sucking you in and keeping your interest. I recommend this book to kids studying medieval Poland and those who enjoy historical fiction.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 6
Pages Read in 2018: 1474
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

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Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Pre-Reading for Fritz